Friday, September 18, 2015

Fall Is In The Air

 "There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
-   Percy Bysshe Shelley

As each new month approaches, I think to myself, "This month will be better. The craziness will end." Nope! It hasn't happened yet. I've been on the go nearly every weekend since mid-July. September has been no better, and the October calendar is nearly full already.

The big event in October is the American Lhasa Apso Club national specialty. (Okay, October is also the birthday month for both my sons and those are big events too!) This year's ALAC specialty is held the week of October 18th at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield, MA. The theme for the event is "Lhasa Strong." Here is the logo for this year's specialty. I love it!!

For those of you who might be interested in attending and seeing Lhasa Apsos from across the country, here is the tentative schedule of events for the week.

 I've entered Luna. Josh is staying at home for this show. His last shows of the year are coming up next weekend in Freeport, IL. Josh has done a great job in the ring this year for being such a young Lhasa. As of this writing, Josh is currently tied for first place in AKC's National Owner Handled Series with 270 points. He has only a few more points and a couple more requirements to earn his Grand Championship title. Now we'll take some time off and let him mature in mind, body, and coat before we start showing again in 2016.

Last weekend, Josh, Luna, Kimmi and I attended shows in Rochester, MN. We hung out with friends from WI, MN, and IA and came away with some nice wins.

Here is a photo of Kimmi, taken after her bath and before we left for Rochester.

The Rochester kennel club held a Beginner Puppy Competition for dogs ages 4-6 months old. There were five Lhasa puppies competing. The Best of Breed winner was Simon, a 5 month old male, owned by Julie Timbers and Lynn Replogle. Kimmi won Best of Opposite Sex. Also competing were Kimmi's half siblings Stewart and Penny, owned by Karen Schlais and Jan Graunke, and Maggie, owned by Lynn Replogle.

Here are the three half-siblings (all sired by GCh. Joyslyn's Heartbreaker, who is also Josh's sire). From left to right: Kimmi, Stewart, Penny.
Also on Saturday, Mary won the 6-9 puppy class with her Riley. Here is a photo of Mary and Riley that I took in August.

Karen's Sybil took Winners Bitch and Luna Reserve Winners Bitch.

Josh took Best of Breed and Best Owner Handled. In the Owner Handled Group, he took a Group 4. He did not place in the regular Non-Sporting but did make the cut!

Karen took this picture of him in the Owner Handled Group.
On Sunday Karen's Jack took Winners Dog. Luna took Winners Bitch. Josh took Best Owner Handled. He also took another Group 4 in the Owner Handled Group.

It was quite a busy weekend -- and the almost 6 hour drive home seemed endless!

Notes from Others

I've received some photos and emails from others that I'd like to share. Sarah sent this photo of Mira, taken right after her haircut. Mira is Duncan, Kimmi, and Luna's grandmother. Mira enjoys a queenly life of leisure at Sarah and Al's house.

I also received a photo of Maci. She is a littermate to Riley.

A third puppy from that litter was Mysti. Here is a recent photo of her.

I also received a very moving email last week from Lois about a Joyslyn's Lhasa that she shared her life with. Lois wrote,
"Dear Joyce,
    I am very sad to tell you that my best girl Citrine, Joyslyn-Ris'N Star of Josels (born February 12, 1999), passed away Monday afternoon, August 17, 2015 at the vet’s office.  She was 16 years, 6 months, and 5 days old. 
     Citrine was diagnosed with kidney disease in April 2014.  She had been doing relatively ok until July 5, 2015 when it became much more noticeable that she was failing. She seemed to be disoriented at times and would get lost in my small house.  She would walk in circles in the house, bump into the furniture and walls, and get into a corner and couldn’t get herself oriented and back out.  She would eat, but I did have to put her in front of the food and water for her to find it.  She had to be carried outside and in because she could no longer negotiate the doorway and the stairs.  There were training pads in numerous places in the house for her frequent accidents.  She still had a very strong, sharp bark and she would bark when she wanted something or needed help.  About once a week she would surprise me by coming to the door and wagging her tail when I came home from work.  Most of the time she was no longer able to do that every day.      
     Citrine really took a turn for the worst on Saturday afternoon, August 15, 2015. She was very tired, weak, couldn’t stand, and was unresponsive.  Citrine had never been much of a lap dog, but she allowed me to hold her for extended periods that weekend.  Much of the time she was as limp as a rag doll.  She didn’t eat between 9 AM Saturday morning, August 15 and 1 AM Monday morning, August 17, but she did have a little water a couple times when I put her in front of the water bowl.  She managed to eat a little bit of chicken (her favorite food) about 1 AM that Monday morning, but I knew that there was no hope left when she refused to eat chicken later.  It was very difficult for me to convince myself that it was time to let her go.   
    Thank you, Joyce, for the dedication that you have given over the years to your dogs.  Citrine was certainly an example of the temperament, health, and longevity that results when there is love, excellent care, and quality breeding.  Of course, Citrine being the daughter of your DJ helped, too. It was an absolute pleasure being the final owner for almost 10 years of this beautiful Joyslyn’s Lhasa Apso.  I am missing her very much."

Most of us reading this blog know how much it hurts to lose our Lhasas, as they are indeed beloved family members. My heart just goes out to Lois. I am so appreciative of the love she gave Citrine.

The book, The Heaven of Animals, by Nancy Tillman, is a book worth having. Although it is a children's book, I believe its message can be soothing for adults and children alike as they grieve for a deceased pet.

I think we can all agree that...

Life is Better When You Have a Lhasa to Love You!



Friday, September 11, 2015

Lest We Forget

In the days following the tragic events of 9/11, photos and emails assailed our senses. Disbelief, horror, terror, insecurity, and terrible sadness prevailed.

In the midst of all that, one day the following story arrived in my inbox. It brought tears to my eyes then and has never failed to do so each time I read it.


by Alexander Theodore, Bouvier, Fourth Year Resident

On the morning of September 11, 2001, there was an unprecedented amount of activity at the Rainbow Bridge. Decisions had to be made. They had to be made quickly. And, they were.
An issue, not often addressed here, is the fact that many residents really have no loved one for whom to wait. Think of the pups who lived and died in hideous puppy mills. No one on earth loved or protected them. What about the many who spent unhappy lives tied in backyards? And, the ones who were abused. Who are they to wait for?

We don't talk about that much up here. We share our loved ones as they arrive, happy to do so. But we all know there is nothing like having your very own person who thinks you are the most special pup in the Heavens.

Last Tuesday morning a request rang out for pups not waiting for specific persons to volunteer for special assignment.. An eager, curious crowd surged excitedly forward, each pup wondering what the assignment would be.

They were told by a solemn voice that unexpectedly, all at once, over 4,000 loving people had left Earth long before they were ready. All the pups, as all pups do, felt the humans' pain deep in their own hearts.

Without hearing more, there was a clamoring among them - "May I have one to comfort?" "I'll take two, I have a big heart." "I have been saving kisses forever."

One after another they came forward begging for assignment. One cozy-looking fluffy pup hesitantly asked, "Are there any children coming? I would be very comforting for a child 'cause I'm soft and squishy and I always wanted to be hugged." A group of Dalmatians came forward asking to meet the Firemen and be their friends. The larger working breeds offered to greet the Police Officers and make them feel at home. Little dogs volunteered to do what they do best, cuddle and kiss.

Dogs who on Earth had never had a kind word or a pat on the head, stepped forward and said, "I will love any human who needs love."

Then all the dogs, wherever on Earth they originally came from, rushed to the Rainbow Bridge and stood waiting, overflowing with love to share - each tail wagging an American Flag.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

"Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country." ~ U.S. Department of Labor

We can't forget what we owe to the early labor movement for making working conditions better for people. Where once people lined the streets to watch Labor Day parades and communities held picnics to celebrate the day, now it seems that Labor Day is just a good reason for stores to have big sales!

Whether you are remembering and celebrating history or simply needing to relax on a well-deserved day off, I hope you have a great holiday.

Show Results

Last weekend Josh, Luna, Kimmi, and I headed to Amana, IA, for the Saturday and Sunday shows. We traveled with my friend Jane and her three Shiba Inu: Striker, Trooper, and Lola. We all had a nice weekend, in spite of the fact that rain was pouring like crazy when we got to our hotel and we were absolutely drenched by the time we had dogs and luggage unloaded and in the room.

Josh, the only special being shown, won Best of Breed both days and earned two majors toward his grand championship. He showed in the Group but did not place either day. Luna took 2nd in her class on Saturday and 1st on Sunday. She then took Reserve Winners Bitch. She will be 11 months old next week.

Luna - 10 months
Saturday night Kimmi (3 months) and her half brother and half sister, Stewart and Penny, participated in the B Match. I was thrilled to see Penny and Stewart, whose breeders are Karen and Jan. They are about a week older than Kimmi and look fantastic. They have tons of coat already and their movement is great. Stewart (Stewie) is black. Penny is an unusual white and butterscotch color -- very eye catching! I am proud of all three of the Breaker puppies!

Kimmi took Best Lhasa Puppy in the 3-6 months class. She moved around the ring as if she'd been doing it for years (pure luck since she'd never been on a mat before). She won in spite of the fact that she was wiggly on the exam table, not wanting me to show her teeth and not wanting the judge to go over her. She went on to take second place in the Non-Sporting puppy group. We had a good time!

Here's Kimmi chilling out in the exercise pen.
Jane's Shiba's took turns doing well! Striker won Best of Breed and also best Bred By on Saturday. He went on to take a Group 4 in the Bred By Non-Sporting Group.
Striker at our grooming set up under the tent

At the B Match, Trooper took first place in the Non-Sporting Puppy Group.

On Sunday, Trooper took Best of Breed and Best Puppy. He went on to win first place in the Non-Sporting Puppy Group that afternoon.
Jane and Trooper

Other Good News

Yesterday, I decided I should check the AKC website regarding Josh's Point Progression toward his Grand Championship. He has just a few points and one requirement left to go. Then I thought I should check his ranking on the National Owner Handled Series list. Boy, was I surprised when I saw this! Of course, that can all change in a weekend, but for now I'll be excited about him being #1 on the list!

We'll soon be winding down our showing. We have two show weekends in September, the national specialty in October, and one weekend in December planned. Then we're going to stay home until March. After being away from home nearly every weekend since mid-July, I am looking forward to a break.